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Monkeypox Information

Many people misunderstand what monkeypox is and how it's spread. Get the facts and learn how to stay well.

Frequently asked questions

What Is Monkeypox? 

Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been around for decades but has been appearing lately in countries that usually don’t get any cases, including the United States.


The virus is normally not easy to transmit from person to person. However, current monkeypox outbreaks are raising public health concerns because cases are rising and symptoms — including rash, fever and fatigue — can be very unpleasant. The rash can look like pimples and blisters.


Monkeypox is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox. It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it spreads from animals to humans. It can be transmitted person to person through close contact.


Monkeypox is mainly found in central and west Africa. Cases outside of Africa have usually been associated with international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common.


Monkeypox is not considered to be a global threat on the scale of COVID-19. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring cases of monkeypox in the US and providing guidance to health care providers. In San Diego County, health officials are providing regular updates for the region.